It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which is probably why it always seems to go by so unbelievably fast.
For those wanting to soak up as much holiday cheer into their schedule without venturing far from home, look no further than your own backyard.
From spectacular tree-lighting ceremonies and festive parades, to pancake breakfast with the jolly man in the red suit and cozy bonfires, there is no shortage of wonderful things to see and do here in the Fraser Valley.
So, bundle up, grab a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and get ready to play tourist in your own neck of the woods with these 14 Christmassy events and activities that our on our Ultimate Fraser Valley Christmas Bucket List 2017-2018.
Ready, set, fa-la-la-la fun!
When it comes to Christmas trees, you just can’t beat the real thing.
Sure, they’re a lot more work and can become a fire hazard if left to dry out, but for many families here in ‘the Valley,’ the hunt for the perfect tree is an annual tradition.
If you’re looking for a jolly good festive time with the family, bundle up, load the car and prepare to channel your inner Paul Bunyan – ‘cause this year you’re going to a tree farm!
Psst…Don’t forget to check out our popular guide to popular Christmas Tree Farms in the Fraser Valley.
Are you looking for something fun and festive to do with your family over winter break that won’t break the bank?
If so, head on over to Cloverdale Arena, located at 6090 176 St, for the 20th Annual Winter Ice Palace.
Every December, Cloverdale Arena is transformed into an icy winter wonderland, complete with an old-fashioned pond and holiday displays.
With the beautiful lights, displays, hot chocolate and festive music, it’s the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday madness and get into the Christmas spirit.
This public event runs Dec. 22 to Jan. 7.
Call the Cloverdale Arena at 604-502-6410 or visit www.surrey.ca for more info.
Top off Parks Canada’s complimentary admission year at Fort Langley, the place where BC became BC.
Hear Kwantlen stories, taste a chestnut roasted over the fire, and make a beautiful cedar ornament. Take a guided tour at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m., or enjoy the daily feature at noon. At 2 p.m., see what our interpreters have baked up in the outdoor oven. Admire the giant outdoor Christmas tree and take family photos at various scenic spots on site.
lelƏm’ at the fort café will offer hot drinks, baked goods, tourtière and cookie decorating.
Please feel free to contribute non-perishable food donations to the Langley Food bank at the Visitor Centre.
This event runs Dec. 22-23, 27-30. Complimentary admission for Canada 150.
If you think Williams Park is beautiful in the hot summer months, wait until you see it come alive this winter.
You and your clan will get to take in the spectacular show of lights in the comfort of your vehicle as you drive through the park. Or, bundle up and go walkin’ in a winter wonderland. This free family and community event, which runs Dec. 1 to 15, is put together by volunteers and is a holiday tradition for numerous families here in ‘the Valley.’ You won’t want to miss it!
Langley City’s annual Magic of Christmas Parade is a free family event held on Saturday, December 2 from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Come join the three-part event which includes entertainment and crafts, a parade and Santa, and tree lighting and caroling.
The event is on from 4-8 p.m. For more information, visit www.city.langley.bc.ca/events
Glow Christmas is bringing the magic to the Fraser Valley. This holiday season, wander through our Christmas-themed light gardens. Hosted in a 103,000 sq. ft. greenhouse, shop, sit, and sip as you take in the festive beauty of Glow Christmas. Open from November 21 – December 30, tickets available soon. http://www.glowchristmas.ca/
There’s no need to head downtown to see the production of The Nutcracker – the holiday tradition comes alive each year onstage at the Surrey Arts Centre, located at 13750 88 Ave.
Presented by the Royal City Youth Ballet, this timeless classic delights all ages with its beautiful sets and extravagant costumes that illuminate the magic of the toy soldiers, Sugar Plum Fairy, and a growing Christmas tree. Talented and enthusiastic young dancers perform to Tchaikovsky’s classic score with its favourites such as Waltz of Flowers and Dance of the Reed Pipes.
The production runs Dec. 8 to 10. For more information, visit www.royalcityyouthballet.org.
Another great spot to shop til’ you drop is Art’s Nursery, over at 8940 192 St. in Port Kells.
Every year in mid-November, their gift shop and courtyard is transformed into a beautiful Christmas Market complete with lights, glitter, sparkle, foliage and festive florals. Beautiful Christmas trees are decorated with stylish ordaments, traditional decor and holiday baubles while thousands of unique gift ideas adorn the shelves and displays.
Be prepared to spend a good hour or two scoping out all the holiday knick-knacks, décor and eclectic gift ideas.
9. All aboard!
Bundle up your clan in toques and woolly sweaters, grab some hot chocolate climb on board the Bear Creek Park Christmas Train for an adventure through the festive forest. Santa is waiting at the station to meet and greet guests — little ones will receive a candy cane and an activity bag to take home. Toot, toot!
The train runs Dec. 8 until Jan. 7 – Closed Dec. 25. Adults and children are $10 each + tax. Santa will be a the station Dec. 9 to Dec. 24th.
Visit www.bctrains.com for more information.
Leave city sidewalks and blinking stop lights behind and come to the Farm for our annual holiday gathering on Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sing along with classic carols, indulge in sweet Victorian treats, and craft vintage Christmas décor.er hunt. This free drop-in event is geared towards all ages.
Take a little trip to a 73-acre horse ranch in Maple Ridge that has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland. Once again, Timberline Ranch, located at 22351 144 Ave. will have glorious lights, beautiful trees, interactive scenes, lovely music, and delightful activities to remind us of times when Christmas was a lot simpler . . . and a lot less commercial.
This event runs Dec. 2 to 20. Visit www.timberlineranch.ca for more information.
Take a family drive to Chilliwack – home of the 19th Annual Animated Doll Christmas Village over at Dickens Sweets & British Museum (45945 Alexander Avenue).This is the perfect spot for a spot of tea, lunch and an outing for all ages.
Visits from the Big Man himself are Tuesday to Friday 1pm-4pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm starting December 5th!
Donations gratefully accepted to go towards the running costs of the Village.
For Tearoom Reservations…book early!
This annual Holiday Show continues to put Hughstreet on the “Must Do” list for festive, outdoor experiences. Take in their 65ft Christmas Tree with digital lights choreographed to holiday tunes. Hughstreet also has B.C’.s best Marching Band, Dancers, Rudolf, Frosty, Spandy Andy and of course the jolly man himself! Make sure to come early to avoid the rush!
The Highstreet Holiday Show is a Must-Do if you’re looking or a festive outdoor experience this Holiday season. Take in our 65ft Christmas tree with digital lights choreographed to holiday tunes. We’ve got BC’s best marching band, the MEI Screaming Eagles, Rudolf, Frosty, Spandy Andy and, of course, the jolly man himself live for 30 minutes! Come early to avoid the rush!
Nov 18, Nov 25, Dec 2, Dec 9 & Dec 16. Show starts at 5:00PM in Central Plaza.
Have you heard? The City of Surrey is getting ready to light up B.C.’s largest Christmas Tree this Saturday, Nov. 25! This free community event – presented by Coast Capital Savings – will feature live music on four stages, an expanded Holiday Market, photos with Santa and the lighting of the 55ft Christmas Tree.
Schedule: 12:55 pm (Main Stage) – Santa Arrives
5:30pm (Main Stage) – Ruth B.
6:30pm (Main Stage) – Tree Lighting Ceremony
Location: Surrey City Hall Plaza, Atrium and City Centre Library
13450 104 Ave, Surrey BC
The 2017 festival will be headlined by up-and-coming Canadian pop sensation Ruth B. Additional features include amusement rides, a zip line, family activities, road hockey, a Canada 150 Zone and children’s crafts. For more information including the full festival schedule, visit www.surrey.ca/treelighting.
And there you have it, 14 fun and festive ways here in the Fraser Valley to get into a holiday state of mind for 2017- 2018. Is there an event we’ve missed? Let us know and we’ll add it to our roundup.
For even more local bucket list inspiration, make sure to visit subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow along on our family adventures in and around ‘the Valley’ on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Note: Many of the links posted refer to articles written from last year- be sure to double-check dates of all events to avoid disappointment.